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New way to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria: Target human cells instead

As more reports appear of a grim 'post-antibiotic era' ushered in by the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, a new strategy for fighting infection is emerging that targets a patient's cells rather than those of the invading pathogens. The technique interferes with the way that the pathogens take over a patient's cells to cause infection.

Posted: Dec 11th, 2013

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Unusual fungal metabolites with antitumor activity discovered by crowdsourcing

Since the discovery of penicillin, fungi have been a nearly inexhaustible source for the discovery of new drugs. 'Crowdsourcing', the cooperation of a large number of interested nonscientists, has helped to find a new fungus from which American researchers have now isolated and characterized an unusual metabolite with interesting antitumor activity.

Posted: Dec 11th, 2013

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Precise docking sites for cells

The Petri dish is a classical biological laboratory device, but it is no ideal living environment for many types of cells. Studies lose validity, as cell behavior on a flat plastic surface differs from that in branched lung tissue, for example. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have now presented a method to make three-dimensional structures attractive or repellent for certain types of cells.

Posted: Dec 11th, 2013

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A new weapon in the war against superbugs

In the arms race between bacteria and modern medicine, bacteria have gained an edge. In recent decades, bacterial resistance to antibiotics has developed faster than the production of new antibiotics, making bacterial infections increasingly difficult to treat. Now researchers have discovered a protein that kills bacteria. The isolation of this protein, produced by a virus that attacks bacteria, is a major step toward developing a substitute for conventional antibiotics.

Posted: Dec 2nd, 2013

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Difficult dance steps: Team learns how membrane transporter moves (w/video)

Researchers have tried for decades to understand the undulations and gyrations that allow transport proteins to shuttle molecules from one side of a cell membrane to the other. Now scientists report that they have found a way to penetrate the mystery. They have worked out every step in the molecular dance that enables one such transporter to do its job.

Posted: Dec 2nd, 2013

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Human stem cells converted to functional lung cells

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in transforming human stem cells into functional lung and airway cells. The advance, reported by Columbia University Medical Center researchers, has significant potential for modeling lung disease, screening drugs, studying human lung development, and, ultimately, generating lung tissue for transplantation.

Posted: Dec 1st, 2013

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Biotechnology improves Africa's water supply

The 'Biotechnology for Africa's sustainable water supply' project provided know-how and best practices to target countries for the sustainable management of polluted water resources using green plants and microorganisms to detoxify contaminated water, soils, sediments and sludge.

Posted: Nov 29th, 2013

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Tendon regeneration with biomimetic scaffolds

The EU-funded TENDON REGENERATION project is a collaboration between industry and academia working to develop a 3D scaffold that mimics natural tendons in order to promote tendon healing. Scientists will design and develop fibrous composites of collagen-resilin in a 3D construct to match the properties of tendons and enhance the tendon regeneration process.

Posted: Nov 29th, 2013

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